A new study, commissioned and funded by the Food Standards Agency and Medical Research Agency, has found that despite hospital admissions increasing for food-induced anaphylaxis, deaths as a result were very rare with the rate decreasing during the 20-year period assessed from 1998-2018.
Another important finding highlighted by the study which was published in the British Medical Journal by researchers from Imperial College London, was that the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions in children was cow’s milk allergy. Cow’s milk allergy is often considered to be mild and it is frequently outgrown. In children who don’t outgrow their allergy, more awareness is needed around the potential severity of reactions to milk, particularly as it is so widely consumed in our diet and difficult to completely avoid.
The study also details how prescriptions for adrenaline autoinjectors have increased dramatically, although whether this has affected the rate of fatal outcomes is not clear.
Anaphylaxis Campaign CEO Lynne Regent said :-
The findings in this study are so important to help us understand who is at the greatest risk of suffering the most severe reactions and helps us identify how we can work to further reduce the risks. Every fatality is a terrible tragedy for the families involved and it is encouraging the learn that the rate of deaths from food-induced anaphylaxis is declining. However, there is still a great deal of work to do to further raise awareness of severe allergy and anaphylaxis and to improve the quality of life for those most at risk. These study findings will be incredibly helpful to inform our work as we move forward.
You can read the full study at the BMJ website at :-https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n251
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